Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth in quartersAugust 25, 2017
Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V.Sindhu and K. Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the World badminton championship in the singles events at the Emirates Arena, here on Thursday.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had won a silver in the last edition, dished out a gritty performance to outwit World No. 3 Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 21-15. She will play either Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour or China’s He Bingjiao.
Sindhu, who twice won a bronze medal at the 2013 and 2014 editions, survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi before prevailing 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 in a thrilling women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 27 minutes. The 22-year-old Indian, who moved up a spot to No. 4 in the World ranking, fought back from 13-16 down in the second game after losing the first to eventually come up trumps. She will face fifth seed Sun Yu of China next.
Srikanth, however, eased into the quarterfinals with yet another straight-game win over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in men’s singles.
On a 12-match winning streak, Srikanth knocked out World No. 18 Antonsen 21-14, 21-18. The World No. 10 Indian will clash with top seed and World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho in the quarterfinals.
“It was a good game today. There were some intense rallies and I am happy for the win,” Srikanth said.
Srikanth, who finished at the pre-quarterfinals in the last two editions, has a 4-4 head-to-head record against Son, whom he has beaten twice this year en route to his titles at Indonesia and Australia in June.
“It will be a tough match but I have been improving with each match and looking forward for a good game tomorrow,” Srikanth added.
Later in the day, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram, however, suffered contrasting defeats to crash out of the tournament.
Preneeth fights hard
Praneeth fought hard before going down 19-21, 21-10, 21-12 to World No. 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, while Jayaram was no match for two-time defending champion Chen Long of China as he lost 21-11, 21-10 in 41 minutes.
The results (Indians only) Men’s singles: Third round: K. Srikanth bt Anders Antonsen (Den) 21-14, 21-18; Chen Long (Chn) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-11, 21-10; Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) bt B. Sai Praneeth 19-21, 21-10, 21-12. Second round: Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) bt Sameer Verma 22-20, 21-19.
Women’s singles: Third round: P.V. Sindhu bt Cheung Ngan Yi (HK) 19-21, 23-21, 21-17; Saina Nehwal bt Sung Ji Hyun (Kor) 21-18, 21-15. Second round: Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) bt Rituparna Das 21-16, 21-13.
Doubles: Bao Yixin & Yu Xiaohan (Chn) bt Sanjana Santosh & Arathi Sara Sunil 21-14, 21-15.
Mixed doubles: Third round: Praveen Jordan & Debby Susanto (Ina) bt Pranaav Jerry Chopra & N. Sikki Reddy 20-22, 21-18, 21-18 .